News: Outlook: ASX set to rise amid earnings reports

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    Following two days in the red the Australian share market looks set to rise amid a series of local earnings reports. Wall Street advanced overnight on broadly positive corporate results and hopes Greece will strike a deal to avert a default, but gains were capped as oil prices continued to slide.  
     
    Some of the companies reporting financial results today include AGL Energy Limited (ASX:AGL), Boral Limited (ASX:BDL), CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited (ASX:DMP), Stockland (ASX:SGP) and Suncorp Group Limited (ASX:SUN).

    Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) has just reported a first half cash profit of $4.62 billion and lifted its dividend to $1.98 per share.
     
    Global markets
     
    Wall Street moved higher on Tuesday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8 per cent to close at 17,869, the S&P 500 gained 1.1 per cent to close at 2,069 and the Nasdaq gained 1.3 per cent to close at 4,788.
     
    European markets ended mixed on Tuesday: London's FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 per cent, France's CAC 40 rose almost 1 per cent and Germany's DAX added 0.9 per cent.
     
    Asian markets finished mixed on Tuesday: Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.3 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng firmed 0.03 per cent, and China’s Shanghai Composite jumped 1.5 per cent.
     
    After snapping a 12 day winning streak on Monday the Australian share market continued to slide on Tuesday: The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 14 points lower at 5,801. On the futures market the SPI is 24 points higher. 
     
    Currencies 
     
    The Australian dollar at 8:20am was buying $US0.7764, 50.92 Pence Sterling, 92.72 Yen and 68.64 Euro cents.
     
    Economic news due out today 
     
    Australian Bureau of Statistics: Housing finance data for December
     
    Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC)-Melbourne Institute: Survey of Consumer Sentiment
     
    Company news
     
    Analysts have tipped Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) will post a first half net profit of about $2 billion and offer shareholders a dividend of 16 cents per share. Australia’s largest telco will deliver its interim results tomorrow morning after boosting its annual net profit by almost 15 per cent to $4.3 billion in the 2014 financial year. Last October Telstra said it had started the new 2015 financial year with strong operating momentum and at the time expected to report broadly flat income and EBITDA over the year. Shares in Telstra Corporation ended steady at $6.51 on Tuesday ahead of tomorrow’s results. 
     
    Shares in Reckon Limited (ASX:RKN) gained yesterday after reporting annual financial results and flagging higher revenue growth this year and beyond. The provider of software solutions lifted its net profit by 5 per cent to $17.6 million after excluding the profit on the sale of an investment, but its net profit slipped 3 per cent on a statutory basis. CEO Clive Rabie says the group experienced strong volume and profit growth over the period and has stepped up its investment in the cloud and improved its working capital. Shares in Reckon gained 8.45 per cent to close at $1.99 on Tuesday following the results. 
     
    Ex-dividends
     
    Corum Group Limited (ASX:COO) paying a 0.5 cent, 30 per cent franked dividend
    JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX:JBH) paying a 59 cent unfranked dividend
    Managed Accounts Holdings Limited (ASX:MGP) paying a 0.2 cent unfranked dividend
    Scentre Group Limited (ASX:SCG) paying a 10.2 cent unfranked dividend
    Westfield Corporation Limited (ASX:WFD) paying a 12.3 cent unfranked dividend
     
    Commodities 

    Gold has dropped $6.90 to $US1,235 an ounce for the April contract on Comex. 
    Silver has dipped $0.16 to $16.91 for March. 
    Copper has eased $0.03 to $2.55 a pound. 
    Oil has fallen $2.37 to $US50.49 a barrel for March light crude in New York.
 
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